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Australia KKR, Apollo among suitors for National Australia Bank's wealth unit - sources

13:56  29 june  2020
13:56  29 june  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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  NAB's McEwan says banks will be less profitable in short-term National Australia Bank boss Ross McEwan has warned shareholders in the country's banks would wear lower returns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.As investors worry about the potential for a second wave of coronavirus infections, Mr McEwan on Monday said shareholders in the country's banks would wear lower returns soon after the crisis, but their longer-term prospects were brighter.

NAB , Australia ' s third largest bank , decided to divest its wealth management unit in 2018, but the plan has been delayed by a management overhaul and a special government-appointed inquiry into the financial services sector that found industry-wide misconduct. It appointed Morgan Stanley (NYSE

Commonwealth Bank of Australia said on Wednesday it booked A.5 billion (0 million) in provisions in the third quarter to cover future pandemic-related loan losses and that it had sold a majority stake in its wealth management unit to KKR .

a sign in front of a tall building in a city: FILE PHOTO: The logo of National Australia Bank is displayed outside the firm's headquarters in central Sydney © Reuters/David Gray FILE PHOTO: The logo of National Australia Bank is displayed outside the firm's headquarters in central Sydney

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY (Reuters) - KKR & Co Inc and Apollo Global Management Inc are among potential buyers which have conducted due diligence on National Australia Bank's wealth management unit, three sources familiar with matter told Reuters.

The sale of the unit, called MLC, could fetch more than A$1 billion ($688 million), said two of the sources, who declined to be identified as the negotiations are private.

KKR's interest comes on the heels of an agreement in May to pay A$1.7 billion for 55% of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's wealth unit, Colonial First State.

Spokeswomen for KKR and NAB declined to comment. Representatives for Apollo did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours.

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, Advent, Bain, Blackstone, Jacobs also among potential suitors . Unit owns Lipton tea brand, could fetch Some of the world’ s top buyout firms, from KKR & Co. to Cinven, are among potential suitors weighing It teamed up with the sovereign wealth fund on some of its most high-profile purchases

Find the latest KKR & Co. Inc. 6.75% Series A P ( KKR -PA) stock quote, history, news and other vital information to help you with your stock trading and investing. KKR Commits Billion to Form Data Center Platform Global Technical Realty.

Suitors are expected to submit bids for MLC by Tuesday, one of the sources said. A second source said the timeline for the sale was fluid.

NAB, Australia's third largest bank, decided to divest its wealth management unit in 2018, but the plan has been delayed by a management overhaul and a special government-appointed inquiry into the financial services sector that found industry-wide misconduct.

It appointed Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group to handle the sale of the unit, which manages over A$120 billion in funds. The unit had an operating margin of 0.46% in the six months to March, company documents show. Blackstone Group also expressed early interest in MLC, two of the sources said, although it was not immediately clear if it is still interested.

A spokeswoman for Blackstone declined to comment.

A string of scandals and the findings of the year-long financial sector inquiry that ended in February 2019 have prompted Australia's biggest banks to focus on core businesses and divest wealth management and insurance units.

($1 = 1.4522 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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